Friday, May 28, 2010

End of an era

There were some good, great, fair and balanced articles on Rafa in the last few days. Here are ones I liked from Rory Smith, Dion Fanning and James Corrigan.

This is a final reminder of the man's class. I hope we do but I fear we won't see a man of his stature here for quite a while.

The phrase "safe pair of hands" has cropped up an awful lot in recent times. I read that as uninspiring, cautious and boring. You're right that we could have done worse but that's damning with faint praise. Given the choice between Stan, Bryan Robson, Sven, David Platt or Roy, I would make the decision we did. But there are much better managers out there and we didn't go for them which is annoying. I don't think exciting/exotic name comes into it. I'm more interested in past record or signs of managerial potential, neither of which Roy has. His record away form home is shocking. 3 away wins in 2 years with Fulham. I don't think his teams play good attacking football either. His transfer record is hit and miss. Don't think he set the world on fire at Blackburn or Inter when he had cash.

He's a mid table manager in my view and that's where I see us going. Curbs was interviewed for the job when Rafa got it as he was flavour of the month then too. Thankfully he didn't get it as the owners made the right appointment. RH is superior to Curbs but given a similar choice here they went with Roy over Pellegrini and I think it's the wrong appointment. Don't see him kicking up a fuss when the Americans break their promises about funding/stadium etc. That might go down well with the board but not fans who think.

I wouldn't give us any chance of making fourth as things stand. We have Arsenal at home first game and then have City away, Utd away and Everton away in our first 8 matches. Baptism of fire. I hope to be proved wrong and for him to turn out an unqualified success.

The one big difference with him and Rafa is he'll have the press onside. There'll be no more talk of bizarre selections, rotation, zonal marking, even if Roy does all three every game.

It sounds like Roy won't get any money bar what he raises from sales. Don't think there is any money knocking about. Sales of Babel/Degen look likely and I wouldn't be surprised if a few others leave too. Mascherano has been talking up a move for around 18 months and would raise a good bit of cash, especially if he turns out to be the world cup winning captain. As I said before, I would have no problem with Gerrard leaving as long as we get a good price for him, but I'm probably in a minority there among fellow reds.

Here's another great article from Paul Tomkins. It's an analysis of Hodgson, his strengths and weaknesses.

Fabio Aurelio has left L4 as his contract has ended and we couldn't agree a pay as you play deal. He was a top player when fit, which wasn't that often unfortunately. But his quality was there for all to see and we can't complain too much considering we signed him on a free. A model professional. Thanks for the memories.

David Moores has written a letter to Hicks and Gillett telling them they should do the decent thing and sell up. Rumours abound of a takeover but nothing concrete as yet. To be honest, I've lost a lot of interest in the club while the two Americans remain in charge. Rafa getting sacked was the final straw. I don't think that I'll be writing this blog while they remain in charge. I may think differently if they leave but I'm going to scale back on this and just go with occasional updates on twitter instead.

The BBC get a lot wrong but this is a great piece by them on the history of the Spion Kop in South Africa.

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